What is the true start point of a great presentation? That depends upon whom you ask. Amateurs feel that it is the delivery of the presentation itself that is paramount, with some consideration given to the content. Seasoned presenters – on the other hand – the ones with a string of presentation successes under their belt, will tell you something else entirely.
Don’t make amateur mistakes. Learn how to craft great presentations, and discover where the process truly begins. Read on.
This lesson is in an interactive format
We have provided a transcript of the video parts in the lesson to help you follow the narrative, or if you would prefer reading over viewing a video. You may access the transcript by clicking on the ‘View Transcript’ button below.
Please note: As this lesson has audio, we request you to plug in your headphones or to turn up the volume on your computer/ laptop.
“When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two third of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third about what I want to say”
– Abraham Lincoln
A quote every presenter would do well to bear in mind.
Unfortunately, in our experience of working with hundreds of individuals across industry verticals, it is a practice few seem to implement.
The result: communication, which fails to provide audiences with what they want to hear; communication that audiences struggle to understand; communication that has no relevance to the audience’s landscape.
When told that they have the deliver a presentation, the first thing people often do is to fire up PowerPoint.
Nothing wrong with that in and of itself. In our opinion – and as much as we love it – PowerPoint can be an inhibitor rather than an enabler when one begins the task of constructing one’s story.
What we at Wordsworth Global CitrusLearning have found is that starting analog before going digital greatly helps.
Creating Compelling, Audience Focused Content.
So, how then does one craft a compelling story? How does one create presentation content that moves the audience and obtains their buy-in and compliance?
Simple: you answer these five questions:
Question 1: Who is my audience?
Needless to say, but if you want to create audience-focused content, you gotta know who is going to be there in the first place.
So, start by profiling your audience.
Specifically, identify three things here:
a. Demographic information like age, gender, ethnicity, etc., This can help you choose age/ gender/ ethnicity appropriate content and examples, among other things
b. Firmographic information: identify the sector, organisation, department, and designation of the people you will be addressing. In a business presentation, this is probably the most important piece of information you need to acquire as you prepare your content.
Gathering firmographic information will help you identify the kind of business goals and concerns your audience will have, and thus help you craft your message such that it best addresses those.
c. Psychographic information: this will include information around attitudes, interests, opinions, and beliefs of your audience members. Knowing how they think can help you identify potential motivators and/ or mental blocks people can have to the points you will be presenting.
Learn as much as you can about these three aspects concerning your audience. It will help you create relevant and compelling content.
Question 2: What do I Want My Audience to Do, Think and Know?
Begin with the end in mind say the wise, right? Question 2 deals with the desired ‘end’ for your presentation.
Specifically, you have got to list the ‘Do’ ‘Think’ & ‘Know’ – abbreviated to DTK – objectives for your presentation.
• What do you want your audience to ‘Do’ post your presentation?
• What do you want them to Think, so that they will ‘Do’ what you want them to? This question relates to any shift in people’s thinking that you are trying to influence
• What do you want them to ‘Know’? Broadly, what kind of information will you need to provide them so that they will ‘Think’ what you want them to, and then ‘Do’ as desired?
Most presentations, we have seen, fail because the DTK objectives have not been clearly articulated.
And very loosely paraphrasing that great philosopher – the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland– “if you don’t care where you are going, any road will seem compelling”.
Do not make this mistake yourself.
Question 3: What Data/ Information/ Content Will I Need to Present to Meet my DTK Objectives?
You’ve identified your goal. Now, it’s time to chart your path, or identify your specific talking points to meet your DTK objectives.
Here’s where you begin gathering data relative to your DTK Objectives.
Question 4: What Objections/ arguments/ reservations might my audience have to my narrative?
One of the big fears that presenters have is that they might be confronted with questions that could leave them stumped. Or that their audience will publicly negate their presentation.
This could well happen. It’s important then to be prepared to respond to these.
So, go over your content with a fine-toothed comb. Identify every possible objection or reservation that your audience could have to your narrative.
Then, ask yourself…
Question 5: What Will my Response/ Rebuttal be to these reservations?
Answer these five questions, and you would have gathered appropriate talking points to craft an audience-focused and compelling story; one that will put you in the best position to achieve your DTK objective
In subsequent online lessons, we will look at how you will structure your talking points. We will also be building upon this lesson on Gathering Talking Points in the classroom session.
But for now, please scroll down and take the quiz